City Desk

Brass Knuckles: Still Banned in D.C.

In what will come as a tough blow for greasers and mafiosi, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled last week that brass knuckles are still illegal in D.C., despite the efforts of one knuckle enthusiast.

On September 20, 2010, cops looking for a robbery suspect in Park View interviewed Lamar Wendell Thompson—and found that he had the nasty-looking knife-and-knuckles combo pictured at left tucked into his waistband. The knuckles on the knife violated the District's knuckles ban—originally put in place by the Senate in 1892, when it was meant to target "the criminal classes in the alleys of Washington"—and Thompson's crime earned him 14 days in jail and 166 days of probation.

But Thompson hasn't given up. His appeal argued that the District's knuckles ban is too vague to cover knife-knuckle combos, and that it violates his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, including arms that look like something meant for Crocodile Dundee or trench warfare.

Unfortunately for Thompson, the appeals court didn't agree. By tucking the knife into his waistband, Thompson made it a concealed weapon, which nullified any Second Amendment protection, according to the court.

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